People who are “like-me” and people who are not – Professor Martin Westwell (Webinar)


Australian children are developing into adolescents and young adults who cannot see their own competence. Their self-efficacy and willingness to “have a go” do not compare well to children from other countries just at the time when the world increasingly requires them to deal with complexity, ambiguity and unfamiliar demands. So what’s stopping them? The way that children develop an understanding of who is “like me” and who is not changes the way they see themselves and their competence. It influences each decision they make about what they will, and won’t, give a try.

How can we respond to the challenge? Of course, there is no such thing as “best practice”; that would be too simplistic and child development is too complex for that. However, research from around the world is indicating that collaboration in small-groups can help unlock the problem. Collaboration changes the way children approach a challenge, the way they think and how they understand what is “like-me.” In doing so, it can play a role in helping children hold on to their own competence in the early years and beyond.

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Course overview

At the completion of the presentation, you will have an understanding of

  • Listening
  • Participation
  • The Hundred Languages

About the presenters

Professor Martin Westwell is the Chief Executive SACE Board, the Chief Investigator in the national Science of Learning Research Centre and the scientist-in-residence at Patch Theatre, a nationally touring Theatre Company for 4-8 year olds

He and his team at Flinders University collaborate closely with educators of children from birth to post-school using research evidence to improve teaching and learning in creative ways.

His work has focused on the development of children’s executive functions (or stop-and-think skills) to help empower them as effective learners.

This webinar was part of the South Australian Collaborative Childhood project.
Providing state-wide leadership to strengthen and develop strategic and collaborative partnerships between organisations in order to advocate for children’s rights as citizens from birth.

Additional information

Target audience

Suitable for early childhood education and care workers at all stages of their careers

Estimated duration

50 minutes